Social Security Disability FAQs

Q: What does it mean when the government finds me disabled?

A: When the government determines whether or not you are disabled, it does not use the commonsense definition of disability that one would ordinarily expect. Social Security law sets out a very precise definition for disability and requires that you prove a specific set of things in order to receive disability benefits. According to the law, you are disabled when you become unable to work because of a medically diagnosed physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death, or that can last or has lasted for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. This means that you must prove:

  • That you are unable to work
  • That you have a diagnosed physical or mental condition, which is being treated
  • That you cannot perform your current job or any past work you may have had
  • That your disability must have lasted or be expected to last 12 continuous months or could be expected to cause death
  • That you have applied for the benefit with the Social Security Administration and otherwise qualify for the program

Q: Am I eligible for Social Security Disability benefits?

A: If you are not capable of working due to an illness or injury, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability or SSI benefits. The rules and procedures for proving disability are complicated. Most people are denied benefits the first time they apply, even though they meet the requirements for disability under the law. Navigating the Social Security Administration's requirements for both filing appeals and presenting evidence makes it difficult for people to win benefits on their own. The law firm of Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C., has helped thousands of disabled people obtain Social Security benefits

Q: How long will it take to get SSDI benefits?

A: The Social Security Administration processes at least 2 million claims a year on average, so it is fairly common for applicants to become impatient when waiting for a decision. The best way to expedite your claim is to ensure that your application is thorough and compelling. Our lawyers can handle your initial application or request for reconsideration to make sure it is done right the first time. Learn how we can help speed up your SSDI claim .

Q: What will happen at my Social Security Disability hearing?

A: At your hearing, you and your SSD attorney will sit down with an administrative law judge (ALJ), a vocational expert and a court reporter. Each ALJ conducts hearings differently, but their primary goal is to learn about your condition and how it has affected your life. Learn more about what to expect at a hearing.

Q: What are my options if I am denied SSDI benefits?

A: Many valid SSD claims are initially denied, but it is important not to give up. If you file an appeal, your chances of securing benefits will increase. Failure to follow the appeals process can reset the clock on your claim and cause you to lose retroactive benefits.

Q: Can I collect both SSDI and workers' compensation benefits?

A: It is possible to collect workers' compensation and Social Security benefits at the same time, but it is easy to make mistakes that undermine your eligibility for one or both. Both of these programs have strict requirements, and it is wise to work with an attorney who has ample experience in both workers' compensation and SSD claims.

More Questions About Social Security Disability Insurance? Call For A Free Consultation.

This Social Security FAQ provides basic information, but there is no substitute for a one-on-one consultation with an attorney. At Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C., we offer a free initial consult so you can learn more about your rights at no cost and no risk. Please contact us at 412-567-1232 in Pittsburgh or Western Pennsylvania, or 866-466-5789 toll free.